Virginia Private Colleges Receive Solar Energy Funding
The Council of Independent Colleges in Virginia (CICV) has been awarded more than $807,000 in federal funding from the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative to help 16 member colleges develop comprehensive plans for implementing solar power on their campuses. The three-year program is designed to help the colleges navigate the legal, regulatory and technical challenges associated with installing solar systems, leverage group purchasing power, and create a learning network accessible by other organizations considering solar power.
APPA Sustainability Awards Given to Five Schools
APPA, previously known as the Association of Physical Plant Administrators, honored the following schools with its 2017 Sustainability Award: Arizona State University, The Ohio State University, San Mateo County Community College District, University of British Columbia, and University of Washington Bothell. The Sustainability Award is designed to recognize and advance sustainability in educational facilities.
Florida State U Alumni Donate Solar Array
The newly completed installation, comprised of 12 panels near the Seminole Organic Garden, was donated and installed by three alumni, each with roles in the sustainable energy sector.
Red Deer College Breaks Ground on Alternative Energy Lab
When completed in 2018, the lab will be utilized for teaching, demonstration and applied research related to alternative energy opportunities. The space will also engage and support regional businesses wanting to explore alternative energy production options. The new lab is one of three key components of RDC’s Alternative Energy Initiative, which promotes environmental stewardship through the application of sustainable and energy efficient technologies.
Flinders U to Introduce Driverless Electric Bus
(Australia) The new autonomous, solar-powered bus will be used at the university's Tonsley campus. A 320,000 Australian dollar ($253,000) solar garage will be built, capable of recharging about six electric vehicles at once, including the new autonomous bus. The university won AU$1 million in state government funding to trial the autonomous bus technology, and will also use another AU$3 million from other investors to run the project over the next five years.
U California San Diego Wins Freezer Challenge
Over 200 labs representing 34 organizations across North America competed in the Freezer Challenge, which encouraged researchers to implement best practices in cold storage management. Labs received points for taking actions, such as properly maintaining freezers and refrigerators and discarding old samples. UC San Diego saved an estimated 500,000 kilowatt-hours per year. Honorable mention goes to the University of Colorado Boulder and the University of Virginia. An individual lab at Harvard University won top honors by saving an estimated 13,000 kilowatt-hours per year.
Northwest Missouri State U and SUNY Oswego Win Sustainability Awards from AASCU
Northwest Missouri State University and the State University of New York Oswego won the American Association of State Colleges and Universities' (AASCU) Sustainability and Sustainable Development Award. The program honors member institutions for excellence and innovation in sustainability. Northwest Missouri State was cited for its Comprehensive Sustainability System, which has produced $15.4 million in energy savings, and SUNY Oswego's BikeShare and BusShare projects were highlighted.
Luzerne County CC Enters $8M Energy Performance Savings Contract
The community college recently contracted with Ameresco to renew and upgrade its campus energy infrastructure and to institute energy efficiency measures. The nearly $8 million project is expected to save the college more than $576,000 annually in energy costs and operation and maintenance savings for the next 15 years. In addition, the college will earn $122,757 in energy rebates and incentives.
MIT Prepares to Upgrade Cogeneration Plant
The upgrade project will soon replace an aging 22 megawatt turbine with a new one and install a second 22 megawatt gas turbine. Each will be equipped with a heat recovery steam generator. In addition, the upgrade includes changing fuel use scenarios for five existing boilers to eliminate the use of No. 6 fuel oil on campus and equip them to use cleaner fuels. The plant will switch to using natural gas for all normal operations, relegating fuel oil to backup emergency use only. Both new turbines are projected to be in service by 2020.
Oakton CC Installs 25KW Solar Array
The roof-mounted photovoltaic system on the college's Skokie campus consists of approximately 80 solar panels. The Skokie campus is also home to a test system that is accessible for enrolled students and provides them with hands-on experience working with solar panels.
U Northampton Opens Biomass Energy Facility
(U.K.) The 6.5 million British pound ($8.4 million) facility uses woodchip biomass and gas to provide hot water and heating to buildings around the university's Waterside campus via a 1.6-kilometer district heating network.
Monroe CC Installs Green Roofs
The 22,000 square feet of newly installed green roof on the college's Downtown Campus is capable of capturing 13,000 gallons of rainwater during a single rain event. It will also decrease the urban heat island effect and reduce electricity usage needed to cool and heat the campus.
Eastern Kentucky U Creates Scholarship With Solar Savings
The Photons for the Future scholarship program uses the monetary savings generated by 25 solar panels on campus to provide $1,000 scholarships to students pursuing degrees in scientific fields. A donation helped pay for the solar panels and provide scholarship seed funding.
Santa Fe CC Receives $351K for Building Energy Automation & Microgrid Training Center
Awarded by the U.S. Economic Development Administration, the funding will support the purchase of critical equipment for the Building Energy Automation and Microgrid Training Center, which provides specialized hands-on training in the fields of building automation and microgrid energy distribution systems. The college is leveraging an additional $326,000 in state appropriations and $111,661 in donated equipment and engineering expertise from industry partners to support the project.
Queen's University Receives $11M for Renewable Energy Research
(Ireland) The $10.9 million (9.3 million euros) funding will be used to create a "virtual center of competence" to support research into bio-energy and marine-based renewable energy sources. Working with a number of cross-border partners including the Letterkenny Institute of Technology, Ulster University, and University of Highlands and Islands, the center will research wave and tidal power, ocean power, and energy produced through anaerobic digestion of food waste.
U Washington Utility Plant Receives Gold Designation From ISI
The new West Campus Utility Plant has received an Envision Gold award from the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI). The ISI Envision system measures sustainable infrastructure in five categories: quality of life, leadership, natural world, resource allocation, and climate and risk. Sustainable elements of the plant include natural rain gardens and enhanced pedestrian infrastructure, measures to prevent pollutants from contaminating surface and groundwater, and increased energy efficiency.
Thompson Rivers U Installs Sidewalk Made of Solar Panels
A professor from the university's Geography and Environmental Studies department and students helped install photovoltaic panels on a sidewalk in July. The solar sidewalk project is meant to demonstrate the role sidewalks and other everyday structures can play in generating energy.
George Brown College to Erect a 12-Story Carbon Neutral Building
The planned structure is designed to be a carbon-neutral, tall building made from wood that produces the same amount of energy or more than it uses. The college plans to create a Tall Wood Research Institute to share their experiences, ideas and research in low-carbon, mass timber construction.
Northwestern U Upgrades Lab Ventilation Systems
In an effort to conserve energy and maintain healthy, safe and comfortable labs, eight buildings now have an air quality monitoring system that saves energy by ensuring that lab ventilation systems run only as much as needed to maintain healthy air quality. Research and testing in one of the campus' buildings revealed that, with the new system, the number of air exchanges per hour could be reduced from nine to four, resulting in a cost savings of $117,000 per year.
Saint Mary's College California Utilizes Solar Trailers
The college now has six mobile solar generators that contribute to exterior lighting and electric vehicle charging. At no cost to the college, each solar generator consists of two solar panels, a backup biodiesel generator and battery storage.
U Notre Dame Connects 145KW Solar Array to Grid
A new 144.72 kilowatt ground-mounted photovoltaic array is expected to generate approximately 194,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity annually. This would offset nearly one-third of the total electricity used by the 5.77 acre warehouse to which it is connected.
Western Michigan U Receives LEED Gold for Residence Halls
The Western Heights housing complex includes energy-efficient HVAC and other mechanical systems, occupancy sensors for common areas and low-flow plumbing fixtures. Amenities within the new halls are strategically located in communal spaces to encourage students to have more interpersonal interactions with their peers.
U California San Diego Tests Vehicle-to-Grid Charging Platforms
A San Diego-based company will use the university to pilot its new vehicle-to-grid technology, which allows a parked electric vehicle to become part of the electric grid by enabling charging from and discharging to the grid. Drivers will be paid for energy discharged from their car while still being guaranteed the expected level of charge needed to operate the vehicle.
U Virginia Signs 15MW Solar Agreement
Under a 25-year agreement, the university will purchase the entire output of a proposed 120-acre solar facility. It is expected to produce about 9 percent of the university’s electric demand. The university has pledged to reduce its carbon and nitrogen footprints by 25 percent below 2009 and 2010 levels, respectively, by the year 2025.
ACEEE Launches 'Shrink Your Dorm Print' Campaign
In preparation for the 2017-18 school year, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy recently released the Shrink Your Dorm Print campaign, which offers a tip sheet and shopping guide for students interested in reducing their carbon footprint.
U Maryland to Complete 2 MW Photovoltaic Project
Three soon-to-be-completed solar canopies, totaling 2.17 megawatts, will help the campus exceed its on-campus renewable energy goal of generating 2.7 megawatts of solar power for university facilities by 2018. The solar canopies are a part of the President's Purchased Power Initiative, which aims to ensure 100 percent of purchased power comes from renewable sources by 2020.
U Notre Dame Installs Geothermal Wells
By the end of 2017, the university will have completed three geothermal well systems with a total capacity of 7,000 tons, which is approximately one-half of the university’s current peak demand during the cooling season. The three systems together will have the capacity to reduce Notre Dame’s carbon dioxide emissions by 11,803 tons, an 8 percent reduction compared to fiscal year 2016. The return on investment is about 15 years.
U Minnesota Purchases Community Solar
With recent approval from the university's Board of Regents, the Twin Cities campus will purchase 46 million kilowatt-hours of community solar garden subscriptions annually over the next 25 years. By the end of 2018, 14 percent of the university's annual electrical consumption will be tied to community solar, which is a centralized, shared solar electricity facility connected to the energy grid that has multiple subscribers.
U Hyderabad Installs 1MW Photovoltaic System
(India) The newly connected 1,000-kilowatt solar-electric system is expected to reduce electricity costs by 15 percent. The university has set a goal to power 100 percent of campus with photovoltaic electricity.
Delaware Technical CC Completes Multi-Campus Solar Installation
The recently completed solar carport array is the last of nine solar projects at all four Delaware Tech campus locations. The statewide systems include carports, ground mounts and rooftop arrays. The solar arrays are expected to offset approximately 12 percent of the annual total energy needs for Delaware Tech and were funded as part of a 20-year power purchase agreement.
U Sussex Pledges to Cut Carbon Emissions 45 Percent by 2020
(U.K.) Working towards cutting its carbon emissions, the university has begun a multi-million pound program that will install over 3,000 photovoltaic panels, replace 27,000 light bulbs with more efficient LED lighting, improve heating and cooling systems, and install smart metering across the campus.
Towson U Achieves Energy Goal Three Years Early
The university joined the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Challenge in 2013, setting a goal to reduce energy consumption 20 percent by 2020, which it achieved this spring. The energy savings were achieved through a mix of major projects and smaller improvements that resulted in incremental energy reductions year after year, such as a lighting upgrade to nearly 35,000 light fixtures and installation of over 10,000 occupancy sensors.
Northwestern U Performs Outdoor Lighting Upgrade
As part of its commitment to reducing its carbon footprint, the university is replacing all of its outdoor lighting with energy-efficient LED bulbs and installing a dimming system. When the two-part project is completed in 2019, the university expects to save over 300,000 kilowatt-hours per year, avoiding roughly $40,000 in energy costs.
Wilfrid Laurier U Receives Recognition for Sustainable Energy Management
The Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change recently honored the university with its Minister's Award for Environmental Excellence for putting in place a series of innovative energy conservation measures to reduce energy consumption while improving efficiencies and functionality of space. To date, the initial phase of the Laurier Energy Efficiency Program (LEEP) has reduced the university’s current energy consumption by approximately 40 percent. LEEP is a multi-campus energy management program designed to reduce the consumption of all utilities across the Laurier’s campuses.
U Idaho Receives LEED Gold for College of Education Building
The College of Education building was built in 1969 and recently underwent a two-year, $17 million remodel, which features glass walls throughout to allow for daylighting across all five floors and incorporates design elements that help create community.
Delaware Technical CC Completes 1.3 MW Solar Installation
The college has completed the installation of a 449-kilowatt carport and a 296-kilowatt (kW) rooftop array on its Terry Campus and two rooftop arrays totaling 585 kW on the Owens Campus. The four arrays, along with 806 kW of previously installed solar systems, provide approximately 12 percent of the annual energy needs of four of the college’s campuses.
U Rhode Island Launches Certificate in Energy Economics and Policy
Launched earlier this year, the university’s newest certificate program provides students with skills for the green energy sector by providing training in energy economics, management and policy. The program is open to full and part-time undergraduates and can be pursued as a stand-alone certificate, or combined with most academic majors to create an interdisciplinary learning experience.
Western Michigan U Earns LEED Platinum on Building Renovation
The university renovated Heritage Hall, which opened in 1905, in an effort to turn the least energy-efficient building on campus into one of the most efficient. The building now contains geothermal heating and cooling, LED lighting, energy-efficient windows and a high level of repurposed historic building materials. The energy-saving elements make make the hall more than 50 percent more efficient than buildings that use more traditional elements.
U Kentucky Scores LEED Gold on Academic Building
The building utilizes water-efficient plumbing fixtures, which reduce water use by 42 percent compared to a baseline model, and is 26 percent more energy efficient than the baseline model. More than 40 percent of materials used in the renovation were regional and all adhesives, sealants, paints, composite woods, sealers and floor systems are low- or no-VOC (volatile organic compounds) emitting materials.
Madison Area Tech College to Construct 1.4MW Photovoltaic System
The technical college plans to contribute $1.8 million to a grant from a local utility to build a 1.4-megawatt solar photovoltaic system, which is projected to avoid approximately $200,000 per year in electricity costs. The construction and maintenance of the system will contribute to the college's renewable energy curriculum program.
Tufts U Installs Two Solar Arrays Totaling 3.8MW
A 2.5-megawatt photovoltaic system covering eight acres and a 1.27-megawatt photovoltaic system covering four acres now provides the university with approximately 40 percent of the school’s electric power and are expected to save the university up to $5.3 million over the next 20 years. An outside company will own, operate and maintain the projects, as well as retain the renewable energy credits.
Cornell U Partners on Climate and Jobs Initiative
A new partnership between Cornell University and Climate Jobs NY has led to the Clean Climate Careers initiative, a multi-pronged strategy to grow New York's emerging clean energy economy and prepare the workforce for the long-term careers associated with this industry. Focused on accelerating energy efficiency and renewable energy growth, the initiative aims to create 40,000 new, good-paying clean energy jobs by 2020.
U Dayton Receives $500K in Energy Rebates
The university was recently awarded $500,000 in energy efficiency rebates from the local utility provider, which will seed the university's Green Revolving Fund and be used for sustainability projects on campus. The funding came from energy-efficient initiatives implemented during the last decade.
U Idaho Research Building Receives LEED Gold
The university's new interdisciplinary research facility features include dedicated bicycle parking and electric vehicle charging spaces; metal paneling and automatic window shades that let in natural light while reducing glare and heat; and a 3,500-cubic-feet rainwater catchment system used to water trees, native grasses and plants.
U Illinois Urbana-Champaign Expands Energy Saving Campaign
With the support of a grant from the Student Sustainability Committee, a one-time, energy-saving initiative now happens monthly. Student volunteers walk through campus buildings to turn off lights that were left on at the end of the day. During seven scheduled walk-throughs during the 2016-17 school year, teams turned off more than 11,000 light fixtures, avoiding approximately $3,400 in energy costs.
U Wyoming Lighting Upgrade Creates Efficiency & Saves Money
Thanks to a proposal by a student pursuing a sustainability minor, the university is now taking advantage of cost avoidance by using energy-efficient LEDs in place of metal halide lighting. The lighting retrofit has an estimated payback of eight years.
U Illinois Urbana-Champaign Residence Hall Earns LEED Gold
The residence hall opened in fall 2016 and features locally manufactured construction materials, products with recycled content, wood products certified in accordance with the Forest Stewardship Council, roof mounted solar panels to provide renewable energy that offsets one percent of the energy costs, and landscaping that includes native and drought-tolerant plants to reduce dependency on potable water.
Harvard U to Retrofit Home as Model of Ultra-Efficiency & Affordability
The Harvard Center for Green Buildings and Cities announced plans to retrofit its headquarters, a pre-1940s house, into an ultra-efficient, healthy, positive-energy structure. Called HouseZero Project, the prototype will be designed to require almost zero energy, rely on natural daylighting, and produce no carbon emissions. The center aims to show how any existing building can become a model of efficiency and cut emissions without requiring a huge investment.